Fauci Relied on Others to Dismiss Lab Leak TheoryFauci said he did not have the expertise to determine whether COVID-19 came from nature or a laboratory, despite repeatedly dismissing the theory that it originated in a Chinese lab.
"I am not qualified since I am not an evolutionary virologist to make any kind of definitive determination about whether a genome could or could not be a laboratory construct or experimentally manipulative," Fauci said at one point. "I have relied, as anyone would, with highly qualified, respected evolutionary virologists to come to that conclusion or not."
Portions of the deposition dealt with a paper released in early 2020 as a preprint and later published following peer review by Nature Medicine.
Confronted About Press ConferenceDespite having communicated repeatedly with the authors, Fauci said he couldn't recall their names during a White House press conference in April 2020.
"So the paper will be available. I don't have the authors right now, but we can make that available to you," he added.
Fauci said he did not make the paper available to any reporters after the press conference but was then presented with an email showing that he did.
"I don't recall it," Fauci said, after reading the email.
Says He Didn't Advocate for CensorshipShortly after Fauci's comments, Big Tech companies began censoring people who suggested COVID-19 came from a lab, including an Epoch Times reporter.
Fauci noted that he does not have social media accounts and insisted that he did not call for censorship.
"No, I have not," Fauci said when asked whether he'd asked a social media company to remove misinformation. He also said that, to his knowledge, none of his staffers had.
"I was not aware that they were flagging many accounts, but from looking at this, they are trying to get rid of fake accounts because fake accounts are bad things, I believe," Fauci said. "To my knowledge, they don't get involved in trying to influence social media in any way. But when someone impersonates me, I think it's totally appropriate for them to be concerned about that."
Concerned About MisinformationFauci said that he was concerned about misinformation and disinformation, and believed that such information could lead to the loss of life.
"I think in any situation where egregious misinformation such as some of the ones I referred to before, such as information that would discourage people from getting vaccinated, that in my mind, would be a way that life that could otherwise have been saved would be lost, if people were persuaded not to pursue a life-saving intervention," Fauci said.
Asked if he thinks steps should be taken to curb misinformation and disinformation, he demurred.
"That's not my area. I'm very well aware of the concept of freedom of speech. The area of the curtailment of that is something that is not in my area of expertise. Those are legal and other things. And I really don't have any opinion on that," he said.
Daughter Worked for TwitterFauci has been in touch with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and appeared several times in Facebook Live videos with Zuckerberg.
Fauci said that his discussions with Zuckerberg "were very clearly directed at getting me on some Facebook podcast to encourage people to get vaccinated" and that they went no further.
Fauci was asked whether he knows anyone who works for a social media company, besides Zuckerberg.
"Like, do you have acquaintances, people that you know, who work at social media platforms?" John Sauer, Missouri's solicitor general, asked Fauci.
"Well, a person who used to work as a software engineer for Twitter was my daughter," Fauci said.
Fauci said he never discussed with his daughter the content posted on social media or the origins of COVID-19.
Fauci said his daughter stopped working at Twitter over a year ago and that he does not know anyone else who works at a social media platform.